Caring for a loved one can be challenging. It is inevitable that we may have the responsibility to care for someone who is afflicted by illness, dementia, or disability someday. It can take a physical, mental, and emotional toll as there are sometimes limited resources to get relief. It may be difficult to get away and manage your own needs. I have seen this when I discharge patients. The family looks at me with tears in their eyes asking “what do I do now?” If you can’t take care of yourself then it makes it more difficult to care for others. Finding a trusted person to help can be a large barrier.
Nationwide there are 43 million Americans caring for a loved one 24 hours a week or more. This causes a large amount of stress for the caregiver. As the baby boomer generation continues to age more and more people will find themselves in the caregiver role.
5 tips to manage the care of those in need:
- Keep it simple. Complicated tasks can be stressful for caregiver and one cared for.
- Keep it fun. Find daily activities that are enjoyable by both, such as music, reading a good book, taking a walk outside, or reminiscing about the past.
- Maintain a sleep/wake schedule. Promote natural daylight during the day to promote healthy sleep at night and reduce night-time confusion.
- Know your resources if you are no longer able to care for your loved one
- Utilize your resources. Schedule those wanting to help a time to be with your loved one and use this time to care for yourself.
A Carol Nurse on demand can relieve you within an hour of your request. Their staff of Registered Nurses will spend time with your loved one up to 4 hours/day while you take time for yourself. They will respectfully care for your loved one by assisting with hygiene needs, activity, dressing, feeding, medication administration, but most importantly being there for them.